Former prime minister Julia Gillard has spoken out about her misguided choice to prioritize “deeper debate” over supporting same-sex marriage.
During her time as PM, Julia Gillard took a stance against same-sex marriage, demonstrating her opposition by actively voting against a pivotal private member’s bill in 2012 that aimed to legalize it.
At the time, Julia explained that her decision to vote against it was based on her firmly belief in preserving the “traditional meaning of the union”.
However, she has since come out in support of the same-sex marriage, admitting that her parliamentary vote against it did not align with her personal beliefs.
‘It was a political issue’ says Julia
Speaking on the ABC TV program The ABC Of… with David Wenham, Julia touched on the political aspect of her initial stance.
When asked whether or not she felt as though she had a political obligation to stand against it, she replied:
“I wouldn’t say obliged but it was a political issue.”
“As a feminist I always wanted us to have a deeper debate about the role of marriage and I thought maybe this was the moment for the deeper debate,” she continued.
“I got that wrong, you know, got it incredibly wrong and very happy to say that.”
“And then as the campaign for change grew stronger and stronger and it became clear that the only debate to be had was marriage equality, then I was very happy to support marriage equality.”
At peace with the ‘misogyny speech’
Julia Gillard also went on to address her now iconic “misogyny speech” delivered on the parliament floor in 2012, acknowledging its significant impact.
She reveals she felt a twinge of resentment, as the address came to define her time in office, casting a shadow over her substantial political achievements, such as the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“For a period, it was all everybody was talking about in terms of my time in office,” she said.
“But I’m well and truly at peace with it now because most leaders don’t get remembered for very much is the truth of it.
“They certainly don’t get international recognition for very much.
“So now, as I spend quite a bit of my life overseas and I have people talk to me about that speech, it’s sort of the only thing they know about Australian politics.”
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.